Urban Christian Leadership

Many believe James Meeks is a traitor to his community-A complete Sellout! Hmmm

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James T. Meeks is African American and a former Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, who represented the 15th district from 2003 to 2013. He is also an active Baptist minister in Chicago and former chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.
Many feel James Meeks is a traitor to his community- again, many agree James Meeks is a traitor to his community. First strike against Meeks came when he took a lot of heat for backing Governor Bruce Rauner who was elected in 2015. Meeks went against the interest of the poor, black and minority community to accept a position of influence in this “Elitists” Republican administration. Rauner’s net worth is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars

Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner then named former State Sen. James Meeks chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, as the Republican’s new cabinet and staff began in January of 2015.

Understandably Meeks, had been made aware that as a Chicago Democrat, his endorsement of a “Rightwing,” Neocon,” Republican in Rauner caused a stir. Due to the fact that since taking office the Governors agenda has been damaging, selfish, and wholely outside of the interest of the mainstream public.  Gov. Bruce Rauner and his team including Meeks suspended $26 million in social services and public health grants as part of his push to whittle away at a $1.6 billion shortfall in the current state budget, making life hell!- for seniors, the poor and inner city citizens.

The last straw was this past week-when Rauner used extremely demeaning language such as calling Chicago Public Schools a ” crumbling prison” to argue the school district doesn’t deserve an additional $100 million in funding shows he has no to little regard for the struggles of working and lower-income inner city Illinoisans.

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 When you look objectively at the status of Chicago Public Schools many of them are inadequate. Many of them are woeful and some are just tragic. Many of them are basically just crumbling prisons.” Bruce Rauner

In the meantime Rev. James T. Meeks, has been disturbingly non vocal about this issue. In fact far beyond the  disrespectful verbiage of his boss-Our good fellow- Meeks has not said a word in defense of helpless young poor black children as Chicago Public Schools have struggled thoughout community. Not a word!

According a 2013 article from the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance,

Rev. Meeks has made his contempt and disgust of many communities very clear.  He has said publicly that LGBT people are “not natural” that we’re “an evil sickness”, and supports a deadly anti-choice stance. Meeks also believes in the exclusion of Latinos, and Asians as minorities, and that women of all races should not be considered a minority community because they “are not people who have been discriminated against.”

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James Meeks (left) and Govener Rauner (Right)

 

I along with many believe James Meeks is standing on the wrong side of the fence and on the wrong side of history! We must begin to call out our communities provocateurs. Maybe it’s time someone had a “COME TO JESUS TALK.”  or a “COME BACK HOME TALK, or even A COME TO YOUR SENSES TALK!

PEACE AND LOVE! “G”

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Burning Bush Moments in Life

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Today, as I think about the many changes that my life has taken, I felt the need to share with my faith audience my platform that has helped me time and time again when learning from the moments in life that things seem dark and hopeless. Fear not because God has given you a plan.
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God doesn’t always speak to any of us in the way we wanted or even expected. If we turn to our bible we know Balaam never imagined hearing from God through the mouth of a donkey (Numbers 22:28) or Mary was very disturbed when Gabriel appeared at her doorstep, as she was to learn of the savior that she was to birth (Luke 1:26-28) also Moses didn’t expect to hear a voice coming from the burning bush in the desert.
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Amazed that the Bush was on fire Moses decided to investigate, and although God made the first move-As a man it was left to Moses to engage, and receive the directions that God was reserving for his life.
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I define the moments as “Burning Bush Moments”-so what about you? can you think about any experience that you would consider a “Burning Bush Moment,” Well, here is the good news- God may be trying to speak to you though any situation in life large, small, good, bad or even something we may think is insignificant.
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Please note that there are times when God’s voice speaks though larger events as well. If we can compare these Moments to television -we would describe these moments as “HD or high definition.” A note from my personal struggle is when I ran from the calling to become a Pastor for many years, God saw fit to humble me to submit because the lives of those around me were effected. For example when my brother passed in 1994 after struggling with a long-term sickness.
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In summary God could be trying to speak to you though any means, TV, radio show, friends, family and more. It is up to all of us to tune our senses into what God is trying to tell us, because “Burning Bush Moments” come in life on a regular basis-while they can show up in many forms-one critical thing that I can guarantee you, they may not always make life easier, but they will always make life more meaningful. (glg)
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Peace, and Love
Pastor Greer

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Who’s burning Black Churches-What a Cowardly Act!

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Most people are questioning why, black churches are burning? As The Atlantic pointed out in a recent article on the subject, there’s a long history of terrorism against black churches in America, one that begins in the era of slavery and continues up through Reconstruction, the civil-rights era, and into the 1990s.  

There has been a recent flurry of black churches burning since October 8 (In the last 20 days) all within a few miles of each other around St. Louis. Five fires have been at predominantly black churches, while the sixth was at a mixed denomination church. Unlike the last wave of black church fires this summer in which weather played a role in some of the fires, these all appear to be the work of arsonists. Each fire has been set at the door, and while most have done minimal damage—one pastor called them “amateur hour” arsons—one nearly destroyed a building. The lack of media coverage about these fires is highly-noticeable, given the media’s hyper-intensive coverage of rioters in Baltimore setting fire to a CVS earlier this year.

The FBI is investigating the multiple fires as possible acts of hate crimes, but to date no arrests have been made, they (FBI) are waiting for more facts to come to light before drawing any conclusions about what happened and beyond that they warn communities  “to move with caution.” (See statistics below)

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Federal investigators have said they have so far found no links among the fires at the predominantly black churches across the South, and currently none have been labeled hate crimes. Action against black churches is prevalent throughout the south, and in northern states minor reports have come to light but it exists.

Regardless of the investigation’s outcome, racism and KKK activity remain a fact of life in the United States. The last known stream of about 670 arsons, bombings or attempted bombings at mostly African-American churches was in the 1990s.

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MUSIC THAT CHANGED HISTORY Featuring “Donny Hathaway”

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“SOMEDAY WE’LL ALL BE FREE”

Released‎: ‎1973
Recorded‎: ‎1971-1973
Genre‎: ‎Soul

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv1B0ejhFVE

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Someday We’ll All Be Free” is a 1973 song by Donny Hathaway from the album Extension of a Man. The song was released as the flipside to the single “Love, Love, Love”. Though the song was only released as an uncharted A-side, it is considered an R&B standard, having been covered by many artists over the years.

The lyrics were written by Edward Howard, for and about the mental pain that Donny Hathaway was experiencing at the time. Edward Howard said:

“What was going through my mind at the time was Donny, because Donny was a very troubled person. I hoped that at some point he would be released from all that he was going through. There was nothing I could do but write something that might be encouraging for him.”

Years later, the song began to be interpreted as being written about black rights, primarily due to Spike Lee featuring it at the end of his biographical film Malcolm X. However, as Howard said:

“A lot of black people have taken the song for some sort of anthem. That’s fine. I didn’t write it for that, though. It doesn’t have that significance for me. I take it with a grain of salt. I’m glad it has some significance.”

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Donny Hathaway himself particularly loved the song and as Eulalah Hathaway stated:

“He loved that song. Donny literally sat in the studio and cried when he heard the playback of his final mix. It’s pretty special when an artist can create something that wipes them out.”

Although the song did not chart, the B-side of the single, “Love, Love Love” peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #16 on the R&B charts

Six years later, Hathaway’s life ended when was found lifeless on the sidewalk below the window of his 15th-floor room in New York’s Essex House hotel. It was reported that he had jumped from his balcony. The glass had been neatly removed from the window and there were no signs of struggle, leading investigators to rule that Hathaway’s death was a suicide. A Brilliant Life that we honor to this day. Donny, yes-It is true, “Someday we’ll all be free.”

 

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This Labor Day lets honor the American Slaves who died and suffered to build America

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Today we honor, the lost lives and the commitment of the American Slaves  who had to endured- The Middle Passage and other sea routes that took the enslaved Africans away from their homeland. Many had never seen the sea before, let alone been on a ship. They had no knowledge of where they were going or what awaited them there.slaveship

The slaves were packed below the decks of the ship for a usual six to eight weeks. The men, women, and children were usually shackled together in pairs using leg irons, or shackles. Some leg irons, along the way. People were packed so close that they could not get to the toilet buckets, and so lay in their own filth. Seasickness, heat and lack of air all contributed to the terrible smell. These conditions also encouraged disease, particularly fever and the ‘bloody flux’ or gastroenteritis. Many did not survive, and were tossed out to the cold sea, without regard to proper ceremony of life-much less treated like unwanted trash.

Though the Union victory freed the nation’s 4 million slaves, the legacy of slavery continues to influence American history, from the tumultuous years of Reconstruction (1865-77) to the civil rights movement that emerged in the 1960s, up until the movement for Black Lives that exist today. Many understand almost 200 years-after emancipation proclamation, America still has not come to grips with its’ endorsement of the Slave trade.

ca. 1860s, Near Savannah, Georgia, USA --- Slave Family In Cotton Field near Savannah --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
ca. 1860s, Near Savannah, Georgia, USA — Slave Family In Cotton Field near Savannah — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
 
When Slavery in America began-the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco. Afterward Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 solidified the central importance of slavery to the South’s economy. By the mid-19th century, America’s westward expansion, along with a growing abolition movement in the North, would provoke a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart in the bloody American Civil War (1861-65).
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Children slaves from Congo aboard an Arab slave ship on Indian Ocean passage – taken during the 1800s
 

While slaves in the antebellum South constituted about one-third of the southern population. Most slaves lived on large farms or small plantations; many masters owned less than 50 slaves. The majority of the workload was constituted by Slave labor. The average losses were between 10 and 20%, through sickness, suicide and even murder at the hands of the slave Masters. 10% means over 1,000,000 Africans died on board the ships, 20% represents over 2,000,000 deaths including children. The American slave trade caused 5 million deaths “or more.” … historical researchers say it’s impossible to know the overall death toll caused by slavery in America.

 So as a nation the (USA) has to apologize for slavery, and honor the commitment that African Slaves and their African American descendants have made to build the America’s, and the Caribbean.
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Southern Lives Matter_Alabama Rally turns out to be a “DUD” with no attendees!

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The a group of 30 Angry Pro Confederate Flag Supporters/Protestors sparked a controversial debate when the crowd showed up for a rally this past Friday August 28, 2015 at the Alabama Capitol State House in favor of the flag and carrying ‘Southern Lives Matter’ posters to mock the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. . Many were singing “Dixie,” some were taking selfies.  The rally was organized primarily to bring attention to legislators and all regarding the widespread support and approval for keeping the current confederate state flags in light of recent demonstrations calling for removal. 
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Another aim was for attendees to have an opportunity to address the Southern Folks message of Southern Nationalism and secession, as well as several other topics. Initially the rally was well received by the majority of over 300 demonstrators via Facebook and many of them expressed interest in exploring the merits of “Southern Nationalism,” but only 30 attended on the day of the rally. A few young black bystanders decided on an attempt to explain to the delusional men in Confederate uniforms that the war had ended, only to have the protesters tell them “Go back to where you came from.” Then stating to the onlookers  “If you don’t accept history behind flag, find a new country.”
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Standing at the bottom of the Capitol’s steps, where 50 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. led a march for civil rights, Tim Steadman said it wasn’t right to remove the flags.  “Right now, this past week with everything that is going on, I feel very much like the Jews must have felt in the beginning of the Nazi Germany takeover,” he said. “I mean I do feel that way, like there is a concerted effort to wipe people like me out, to wipe out my heritage and to erase the truths of history.”  A statement from the groups facebook page says;
We are spreading the news across America about this tragic and illegal action of hate toward our Southern family. Like our page to get up to date news and announcements about this fight for freedom. Have a news story we should tell? Message us! Tell America and be heard!

The two groups briefly discussed heritage and racism while Confederate flag supporters proudly waved their flags, before ending the conversation. No arrest were made by Capitol Police, the rally ended two hours short of it’s original goal-due to low turnout.

For more information on the Conferderate/Southern Lives Group see:

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Cleveland City Council pass a questionable possibly “unconstitutional” protesting ordinance.

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CLEVELAND, OH— Freedom First International, The ACLU (Ohio), and a growing list of civil rights organizations are questioning  a recent Cleveland City Council’s action repealing and replacing the ordinance regulating demonstrations without any public hearings. The hastily passed legislation updating the City of Cleveland’s permitting process violates protesters’ rights of free speech and assembly. In other communities courts have required conditional use ordinances to set forth “definite specifications in standards” in order to constitute a valid conditional regulation.

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The new ordinance applies to parades and protests on city streets, parks, malls and other public spaces. According to the local ACLU “There are several “First Amendment” red flags in the revised ordinance.”  

  • The failure to provide the number of people that would constitute a parade could result in absurd and potentially unconstitutional outcomes. For example, two people who choose to march through a park could be considered a parade and be required to obtain a permit.

  • A city official might subjectively deny a parade permit application if it was determined that the parade or demonstration is “dangerous,” requires a high number of police officers, or otherwise places a burden on city resources.

  • The ordinance could prohibit the spontaneous gathering of individuals to meet and peaceably demonstrate in parks or other public places.

It also is troubling that the city council failed to allow the community to comment  and engage on the proposed legislation, which would have afforded the opportunity for any issues to be discussed and ironed out.”

The real tests of its constitutionality are awaiting challenge, both in the legislation and in the process city hall establishes. In the event the ordinance condition is found to be arbitrary, the normal procedure would be for the  local court to remand the ordinance back to the governing body for further consideration as to whether any modifications to the ordinance are necessary in order to permit the legislative body to take its action.

Obviously, this has an enormous potential to create significant delay. It also provides an issue for an objecting party to raise to both delay and potentially challenge a conditional use ordinance through subsequent legislative review with hope a arbitration will end this unnecessary policy.

#glg1W#

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